Tennis

Local boy is tops in New England

Sigmund Wienecki does it all, sports-wise

Sigmund Winiecki, age 10, of Jaffrey is ranked the number one tennis player in New England among boys 10 and under. He achieved this at a United States Tennis Association tournament earlier this month. He is the son of Betsey and Marc Winiecki.

With a winning streak of 27-1 over the last six months, he secured the number one spot, dropping only one game at his final 10 and under tournament. The young athlete doesn’t spend much time with tournaments though. Instead, he’s usually hitting balls at Monadnock Indoor Tennis Club in Peterborough.

“Playing the members of the club is fun. Every time I play with someone new at the club, I make a friend. We have fun and we play good tennis.” he said.

The members don’t seem to mind playing with a kid. Sara Spittle of Wilton explains, “I get excited whenever Sigmund and his brother Henry are scheduled to play with us. They bring a whole new level of skills, like incredible top spin and overhead smashes that we didn’t grow up playing with. They are always teaching us something new. And they make us relax and enjoy the game more; how could you not when you look across the net at a smiling 10-year-old who is better than you? It’s a treat to have Sigmund and Henry play with us. We’ll get to say “I knew him when” someday!”

In the most recent MITC inter-club tournament, Winiecki not only won the junior divisions, but placed first in men’s doubles with partner John McCullough of Peterborough.

“Playing against opponents four times his age, Sigmund showed no signs of intimidation. At such a young age he already executes his strokes with maturity and ease. Sigmund has a bright future ahead of him in the game of tennis and it was fun to be a part of it,” McCullough said.

As a regular at MITC, Winiecki has a wide range of training partners to complement his regular coaching. He does weekly drills with members of the MITC women’s USTA teams, and can be found practicing or playing four or five times each week. Younger siblings, Henry and Margaret also play and practice with Sigmund.

Coach Jacob Miller has been working with Winiecki at MITC bi-weekly for more than a year. Miller, a former division one tennis player at Sacred Heart University, says “I’m incredibly proud of Sigmund for his improvement and dedication. Months ago he made a comitment to try to be number one in New England and since then we have been training for that specifically. He is very coachable. His attitude, work ethic and talent are why he is doing so well.”

He has won area junior tournaments, including the Jaffrey Tournament and the Scholars for Dollars tournament’s junior/senior event with Dave Delworth from Peterborough, who says “What impresses me most about Sigmund on the court is his tennis IQ. Most young players only know one speed; Sigmund knows when to use finesse versus power. He has a very bright future ahead of him!”

Club member Bobbie Nyland, a womens’ team player who plays and practices with Wienecki, is impressed with the youngster’s skills on the court.

“Playing with Sigmund and watching him grow into his tennis game has been tons of fun, from the smile on his face to the positive attitude he always displays. His top spin ground strokes and high-bouncing overheads keep us running on the court,” says club member Bobbie Nyland (Peterboro)-- one of the women’s USTA 4.0 team players who regularly practices and plays with Sigmund.

While tennis is Winiecki’s his favorite thing to do, he loves mixing it up. He is the top-ranked New England competitor in tae kwon do for his age and division. He trains at Kenny’s Tae Kwon Do in Jaffrey three times a week with Elizabeth Kenny, a 4th degree black belt, who says, “Sigmund is hard working and dedicated in everything he pursues. It doesn’t matter what sport he is practicing, he always is willing to give 100 percent.”

His recent accomplishments seem only to motivate him further. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he replied “Someday I hope to become a home- schooled, piano-playing Eagle scout, black belt, professional tennis player.”

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